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Spitzer's Crack-Pot Tax (proposed making drug dealers pay tax on their stashes of illegal drugs)
Captain's Quarters ^ | Feb. 17, 2008 | Ed Morrissey

Posted on 02/17/2008 7:26:04 AM PST by jdm

Governor Eliot Spitzer has already built himself quite the record in his first term running New York. He has conducted a politically-motivated investigation of his main opponent in the state legislature and then co-opted the man supposedly investigating him, and he briefly demanded that illegal immigrants get drivers licenses. Now he wants to raise taxes in order to help solve a massive deficit -- but you're not going to believe how he wants to do it:

If you can't beat it, tax it.

That seems to be the axiom in New York these days, where Gov. Eliot L. Spitzer (D), struggling to close a $4.4 billion budget gap, has proposed making drug dealers pay tax on their stashes of illegal drugs. The new tax would apply to cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and could be paid with pre-bought "tax stamps" affixed to the bags of dope.

Some critics in the legislature are asking what the governor has been smoking.

"I guess if it moves, he'll tax it," said Republican state Sen. Martin J. Golden, who dubbed the proposal "the crack tax." Some opponents said that because cocaine and weed would be subject to the new levies, it should more aptly be called "the crack-pot tax."

On the other hand, Democrats in the state legislature ... well, they can't believe it either. One member from Harlem wondered how anyone could practically collect tax from dealers who operate mainly to support their own habit. Many of them steal just to afford the drugs; they're not going to have a lot of extra cash lying around when the tax collector comes to garner the proceeds.

Other states have passed similar laws, but the intention in those cases was never to generate a reliable revenue stream. The laws got passed in order to have another set of charges to press when prosecuting drug dealers, making confiscations more palatable. In many cases, they have been thrown out or neutered for 5th Amendment reasons, ie, one cannot be required to admit to illegal activity to comply with another law.

Only Eliot Spitzer has seriously proposed that the state of New York could help make up its budget deficit through tax stamps on nickel bags. If he thinks that creating a new tax regime and enforcement mechanism on illegal drugs will bring in more money than it costs, then Spitzer must really be smoking something tax free at the moment.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; US: New York
KEYWORDS: crackpottax; spitzer
The new tax would apply to cocaine, heroin and marijuana, and could be paid with pre-bought "tax stamps" affixed to the bags of dope.

Talk about a mentally ill governor.

1 posted on 02/17/2008 7:26:05 AM PST by jdm
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To: jdm
ROTFL! This guy is off the wall! I figured that out years ago, what the heck is wrong with NY.
2 posted on 02/17/2008 7:28:15 AM PST by alice_in_bubbaland (Vote Obillary! And we'll be picking shrapnel out of our butts for decades!)
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To: jdm

If New York taxed stupidity Spitzer alone could settle the national debt. What a dumbass.


3 posted on 02/17/2008 7:28:54 AM PST by ARE SOLE (Agents Ramos and Campean are in prison at this very moment.. (A "Concerned Citizen".)
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To: jdm

I went to the site to look around, is this like scrappleface? LOL


4 posted on 02/17/2008 7:28:57 AM PST by tioga (Beware: conservative with back to the wall. Proceed with extreme caution.)
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To: ARE SOLE
Hillary is a BIG supporter of Spitzer....quick, someone ask HER what she thinks......LOL.....oh, yeah, she already stepped in it with the driver’s license fiasco!
5 posted on 02/17/2008 7:30:24 AM PST by tioga (Beware: conservative with back to the wall. Proceed with extreme caution.)
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To: jdm
Well hey, there is a precedent for this. The feds made Big Al liable for income taxes on his illegal booze profits and sent him to Alcatraz for not paying them.


6 posted on 02/17/2008 7:30:57 AM PST by Emperor Palpatine ("There is no civility, only politics.")
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To: jdm

Having a moron for a goobernor is soooo much phun...


7 posted on 02/17/2008 7:32:18 AM PST by xcamel (Two-hand-voting now in play - One on lever, other holding nose.)
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To: jdm

It’s already the law in a few states.


8 posted on 02/17/2008 7:35:07 AM PST by Wolfie
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To: jdm

This is why drugs are big business and here to stay. Everyone wants a cut.


9 posted on 02/17/2008 7:37:25 AM PST by TribalPrincess2U (I heard it on the grapevine and saw it in the paper, so it must be true.)
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To: jdm; tioga

The tax law idea is nothing new - that is how the feds outlawed drugs in the first place.

The moronic part - and I mean astoundingly stupid - is that Spitzer, in his budget, claimed that they would be paid.


10 posted on 02/17/2008 7:37:41 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: patton

oh, I got it........I just cannot believe the doofus is that ignorant.....it’s kinda like the gun laws...they are criminals because they do not follow the laws to begin with, which makes gun laws just another law they will ignore.....I thought it HAD to be scrappleface or the onion at work here.


11 posted on 02/17/2008 7:41:04 AM PST by tioga (Beware: conservative with back to the wall. Proceed with extreme caution.)
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To: jdm

Who left the lock off of his cage?


12 posted on 02/17/2008 7:43:34 AM PST by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli)
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To: Wolfie

The Feds also grab income tax on confiscated drugs from fed cases.


13 posted on 02/17/2008 7:45:37 AM PST by kdot
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To: tioga

Does NY have a balanced budget amendment or law? It seems to me that what spitzer is really doing is pretending that this is a revenue stream, so he can pretend to have a balanced budget.

What hapens when it turns out he was wrong? (Lying, actually) Does he get emergency powers of some sort, to do things that he would otherwise not get through the legislature?


14 posted on 02/17/2008 7:46:00 AM PST by patton (cuiquam in sua arte credendum)
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To: patton
I skip state politics as it just raises my blood pressure. Does not matter which party, the whole state scene is petty here. I don’t bother so I can’t tell you. The dems run this state so everything is their fault anyway. I cannot wait for retirement to escape this place.
15 posted on 02/17/2008 7:52:29 AM PST by tioga (Beware: conservative with back to the wall. Proceed with extreme caution.)
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To: jdm

This is just backdoor legalization.


16 posted on 02/17/2008 7:52:31 AM PST by palmer
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To: Emperor Palpatine

One difference between the crackpot tax and the Capone conviction is that Capone was sent to prison for not paying taxes on income (yeah, I know you know that). It wasn’t specifically because that income was due to illegal alcohol trade, although that obviously was where the money came from.

This tax proposes to collect revenue on possession of illegal substances. Besides being a stupid proposal on Spitzer’s part, it would be unconstitutional since one would have to incriminate one’s self in order to purchase the stamps. Sort of like why a felon supposedly can not be convicted for not registering his illegally-possessed firearm.


17 posted on 02/17/2008 8:28:08 AM PST by Hazwaste (Vote! Vote for the conservative local, state, and national candidates of your choice, but VOTE!)
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To: jdm

btt


18 posted on 02/17/2008 8:28:24 AM PST by Cacique (quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat ( Islamia Delenda Est ))
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To: jdm

NY,NJ, sinking ships, the cancer has won!


19 posted on 02/17/2008 8:31:05 AM PST by ronnie raygun (Id rather be hunting with dick than driving with ted)
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To: palmer
"This is just backdoor legalization."

It's, "I'll look the other way if you give me money that I'll call taxes".

They have a smilar problem in California. Medical marijuana is legal and is being sold -- state sales taxes are supposed to be collected on it. BUT, Proposition 215 never did legalize and authorize the sale of medical marijuana. You can grow it and use it, but selling medical marijuana is, technically, illegal under California law.

"To bring medical marijuana retailers into compliance, the board updated its guidelines to allow them to obtain a seller's permit. Previously, the state banned people selling illegal items from getting permits."

"The board also changed the permit application so that retailers wouldn't have to disclose what they were selling, making it difficult (for the federal government -- rp) to track sales. Instead, medical marijuana sellers would have to sign a waiver."

Greedy, greedy governments will find a way to get tax money, won't they? "What you're doing is illegal even under state law but, if we get our piece, we'll look the other way."

20 posted on 02/17/2008 8:37:30 AM PST by robertpaulsen
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To: jdm
I believe, at the federal level, the laws against (some) drugs were tax laws. Just like the law, National Firearms Act of 1934, restricting machine guns, short barreled guns and other weapons was and is a tax measure. Or at least it pretends to be. In fact the NFA was patterned after the Harrison Narcotics Act which had been “vetted” by the Supreme Court at the time the NFA was passed. In fact the same Mr Justice McReynolds, wrote both that opinion, Alston v. United States, 274 U.S. 289 (1927) and the Miller case concerning a short shotgun under the NFA.
21 posted on 02/17/2008 9:24:15 AM PST by El Gato ("The Second Amendment is the RESET button of the United States Constitution." -- Doug McKay)
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To: jdm
Actually, marijuana is not illegal.

Hemp is a very useful organic fiber that has been grown for thousands of years. George Washington grew it. During WWII the prohibition was suspended so farmers could supply hemp for rope for the war effort.

Congress knew they could never outlaw it, so they passed a tax on it. In order to possess it, you must buy a tax stamp from the Feds. Same with sawed-off shotguns and fully-automatic weapons - you can own them if you buy the tax stamp.

The trick is they made the cost of the stamp prohibitively high with hemp/marijuana.

22 posted on 02/17/2008 9:40:41 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: jdm

Medical marijuana is legal in California but illegal federally. Our County Auditor has floated the idea of taxing the growth of marijuana in the county. It would really help our County coffers decimated by loss of the timber industry.


23 posted on 02/17/2008 10:41:23 AM PST by marsh2
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To: jdm

Not the first to pass a law, but the first to actually believe the state can fill a budget deficit from it.

24 posted on 02/17/2008 12:48:02 PM PST by JerseyHighlander
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To: jdm
Spitzer was always acting on the very fringe of illegality as a AG and people applauded him because “he was going after them”. There is a lesson here for everyone, if the rules are bent for a good cause there is nothing that says they won’t be bent for what you don’t think is such a good cause next time.
25 posted on 02/17/2008 4:39:46 PM PST by kublia khan (Absolute war brings total victory)
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To: jdm

Wallstreet is not going to be happy about this.


26 posted on 02/17/2008 10:21:51 PM PST by Fred (Looking Forward to Impeaching the other Clinton)
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